Disclaimer: I do not own Glee.
Death was something that Kurt thought about a lot.
The first time he'd thought about it, it had been when he and his father had been told his mother wasn't going to make it. So, that night at the hospital, he'd sat on his mother's lap and had asked her, quietly, "Mommy? What's it like to die?"
She'd ran a hand through his hair, and replied, "Well, it's sort of... It's sort of like going to sleep, but you don't wake up."
"Is it scary?"
She'd tilted her head to the left and hummed. "Maybe, but do you remember Peter Pan?"
He'd nodded his head rapidly. "Yeah, he said that dying would be a great adventure, didn't he?"
She'd lifted a finger and poked his nose gently, causing him to laugh. "That's just right! It's like a completely new adventure; you don't know what exactly is going to happen."
The next week, she'd passed away and left him to go on that new adventure.
The next few months were filled with calls of condolence, visiting family members, and Kurt remembered seeing his father cry for the first time in his life. He remembered walking into their living room while his dad sat on the couch with a few of his friends around him. He remembered seeing the tears on his dad's face and not wanting them to be there, so he walked up and said, "Daddy, don't worry. Mommy told me that she was going to be going on a new adventure. Adventures are exciting, right?"
And he remembered his dad looking at him sadly before taking him and crushing him in a tight hug.
For a long time after that, Kurt didn't think about death.
Until he hit his first year of middle school.
The kids were brutal, calling him names he hadn't even known existed. He became really good friends with the school dumpsters, and he was promised that he would see them every day until he either died or stopped being such a freak.
He didn't understand it – at all. Why were they treating him like this? What had he done to deserve it?
That was the second time Kurt had thought about death.
He'd sat in his bathroom, looking at the razor that his dad used to shave and stared at the blades. Would it be worth it? Could he do it? He ended up debating with himself, going back and forth, until he'd heard the front door open and close; he put the razor back quickly and rushed out into the kitchen, trying not to seem too suspicious.
He didn't tell his dad about his thoughts of suicide, not wanting his dad to worry. Instead, when his dad had asked him how his day had gone, he'd smiled and replied, "It went great."
The bullying never stopped, and the more it happened, the more Kurt found himself thinking about death, and how it could end his bullying situation, but it would do more harm than good. So he decided to ignore it. Other kids got bullied, right? Why did he have to make such a big deal out of it? His father didn't need to know about this. He had enough on his plate already. The bullying, however, was brought to his father's attention in a way that Kurt never expected.
To tell the truth, Kurt hadn't really thought that he could even have this issue. He knew that it ran in his family, but he'd never thought that it could actually happen to him.
He'd been running from one of the typical high school bullies, Noah Puckerman, after having made the mistake of calling him by his first name while insulting him. Now, Kurt had never been much of a runner, but he could run for a while without tiring himself out, but this time, not even a minute in to the run, he was out of breath and couldn't catch it.
He stopped running and pushed himself against the wall, his head pounding and his vision swimming. He gasped for air, letting his head hit the brick wall beside him. He could hear the heavy footsteps behind him - there was more than one set, so Puck must have gotten 'reinforcements' – but he just couldn't find it in himself to care.
God, why couldn't he breathe?
The footstep sounds stopped in front of him, and he raised his head to look up at Puck, Azimio, Hudson and Karofsky all standing in front of him.
"Hey, Hummel," Puckerman said loudly. "Are you ready for your daily date with the dumpster?"
Kurt was going to respond back with something witty, like he normally did, but he couldn't find the air to do it.
He could feel the hands on him before he could do anything and was resigning himself to his fate when someone spoke up.
"Dude, I don't think we should do this."
He was placed back on the ground roughly, and he heard Karofsky speak up. "Hudson, why not? We do it every day."
Hudson's voice wasn't as stable as it had been before when he'd spoken previously. "Look at him, he's pale and shit."
"Do I look like I care if he's pale?" Puckerman asked.
"No, and I don't really care either, but-"
If he could have, he would have spoken, but the second he opened his mouth, his vision went dark and he felt himself hit the ground before – nothing.
When he woke up, he found himself staring up at a white ceiling, something over his mouth, and a tight grip around his hand. His legs were curled up slightly and he straightened them, wincing slightly as his left leg popped a little. The grip on his hand tightened and he turned his face to the left to see his dad staring at him with an intensity that he'd never seen before.
His dad's eyes filled up with tears as he shook his head. "Kurt... I-"
Kurt blinked at him tiredly. "Why am I in the hospital?"
His dad shook his head again.
"I can answer that for you, Kurt."
There was a doctor on the other side of his bed, who was staring at him with soft eyes. She was holding a clip board in her hands, and she was smiling sadly. "We're glad you're awake."
He stared up at her. "Why am I here?" He whispered, unable to talk louder.
She sighed, then sat down on the chair placed by his bed. "What do you remember?"
He took a breath. "I was being chased by some bullies... and then... I... Did I faint?"
"You passed out," his dad said, sounding like his entire world was falling down.
"Why did I pass out?"
The smile on the doctor's face slipped off. "You passed out because your heart wasn't able to pump enough blood to your brain, Kurt. Basically, your heart failed."
And that's when Kurt's entire world turned upside down.
After that day, there were times when Kurt would lay out underneath the sun and stare at the clouds as they drifted by.
He'd think those thoughts, the ones where he'd question his existence; he'd wonder if life was really worth living in his condition, and, of course, he'd think about death.
He didn't think about it like someone would think about suicide, but he'd think about what death would feel like. Would it feel like he was being sucked into a black hole, while trying to hold on to life with all of the strength that he had?
Sometimes he'd lift up a hand and hold it up, as if he could touch the sky. If he'd been able to fly, he would have taken off and left, happy to be free for just a single moment.
Sometimes he felt like a bird who had the will to fly but had broken wings.
Kurt was a singer; he loved to sing and sing, but he no longer could sing like he used to. It made his heart beat too fast, and when that happened, it caused his heart to fail, and then he'd land in the hospital again, with his father by his bedside, holding his hand as tight as he could and trying to hold back tears.
When he'd look at his father during those times in the hospital, he knew:
He was going to die.
He was only Status 2, and he wasn't even on the list for a transplant. He was incredibly sick, but not sick enough, his doctor had told him. After hearing those words, he'd resigned himself to that fact:
Kurt Hummel was going to die.
From his position out on the school cement steps that students often sat on during lunch, he couldn't help but smile darkly as he looked around at the other kids. They were so lucky and they didn't even fucking know it.
Kurt wasn't a sports person – at all – but he envied the jocks for their ability to run without having to worry about their blood pressure being too high. He envied all of the kids who got to work part time jobs, because they were able to experience something he couldn't.
But most of all, he envied the members of the Glee club. They got to do what he wished he could do with all of his heart: sing and dance. The school called them losers, but Kurt would gladly be called a loser if he'd been able to be in that club.
They often performed for the school randomly, like now, and Kurt watched them sadly as they performed Empire State of Mind to practically no one. The school tuned them out, as if they were just white noise.
Not able to take much more of the performance, Kurt gathered his things and stood up, taking one last glance at the Glee club before heading down the stairs. He ended up going down them faster then he'd planned, and by the time he reached the stairs he was out of breath.
This is ridiculous, he thought angrily before taking a deep breath and trying to calm himself. He knew that the fact that he was out of breath that fast was a side effect but -
He headed inside, unaware of the Glee club behind him, thinking about ditching the rest of school. He was halfway to his locker when his french teacher stopped him.
He glanced up at her. She was smiling at him the way everyone else who knew about his condition smiled at him: sad and worried.
He hated it.
"I spoke with your doctor, and you do not have to go on the field trip to the museum this weekend."
He wanted to frown, because he'd been looking forward to going on the joint field trip with the Spanish class, because, maybe, for a day, he could act like a normal teenager. But no, he couldn't even have that. Instead, he smiled at her. "Thank you," he said, before beginning to head to his locker.
"Dude," he heard someone call out behind him. It was Puckerman, he noted when he turned around. "Whatever you have to make you not go, I'll take it! I so do not want to go on this trip."
The rest of the Glee clubbers laughed with him, and the one in the wheel chair raised a hand up, stating, "Preach, yo."
Kurt knew they were being ignorant of his illness, because only the teachers and the rest of the school staff knew about how sick he was, but the thought of someone wanting what he had made his stomach churn. "Y-you want what I have...?"
He wasn't able to stop the words from spilling out. One of the kids who was on the football team, the Asian one, whistled. "Wow, he speaks! I think this is the first time I've ever heard you speak, Hummel."
The blonde, who he knew was named Quinn, slapped the boy's arm. "Be nice, Mike."
Mike held up his hands in surrender. "Yes, ma'am."
Puckerman and Hudson laughed, and then Puckerman was walking towards him. "So, listen, Hummel. I, uh, wanted to say that I'm sorry for, you know, scaring you so much that you passed out that one time."
Kurt looked up at him and sighed. "Fine. Whatever," he said, before turning and making his way to his locker, once again, ignoring the strange looks he was getting from the Glee club.
He was just so tired of it all.
Deciding on skipping the rest of the school day, Kurt placed all of the books in his bag into his locker before heading out to the parking lot. When he got tired, he made trips to see his mom, to talk to her, and she sometimes helped him feel better.
The drive to the cemetery was quick, and before he knew it, he was standing in front of his mother's grave, staring down at her named engraved in the marble. "Hi, Mom," he whispered, bending down to his knees. "I jut thought I'd come visit you today. It's been pretty rough..."
He stopped talking, wondering what exactly to say, before he remembered what his dad had asked him to do.
"Dad asked me to make a wish list, Mom. Can you believe that? He wants me to make a list of places I want to travel, hit tourist spots that I want to see, things I want to do while I'm there... The first one on my list is to go to Auckland so that I can jump off of the Sky-tower. I've always wanted to do that."
He drew off, listening to his breathing and the wind around him. Finally, he said it. "I'm scared, Mom. I'm scared to die."
He moved closer to the gravestone and leaned up against it, pulling his legs into his chest and wrapping his arms around them.
"There are so many things that I want to do. I want to see a Broadway show, I want to perform something on a stage – any stage... I want to go to Paris and I really want to fall in love..."
He stopped himself from continuing before forcing himself to smile. "But those are all just silly thoughts, huh, Mom? I have a pretty nice life right now."
Sighing, he let his eyes close, letting himself listen to the wind and the birds, and drifting off into sleep.
The next thing he knew, someone had a hand on his shoulder and was shaking him gently. His eyes opened, and he was able to make out a fuzzy outline of another boy.
"Are you awake now?"
Kurt let out a small grunt before pushing himself into more of a sitting position. "I am now."
"I didn't mean to wake you up, but it's getting pretty late and cold out so..."
Kurt shook his head; a hand appeared in front of his face and he took it, getting help in standing up. "Thank you ...ah..."
The boy, who was slightly shorter than he was, with gelled hair and hazel eyes, smiled at him. "Blaine. Blaine Anderson, and no problem."
Kurt nodded his head at him. "Kurt Hummel." He fished his phone out from his pocket and checked the time. "Oh, shit," he muttered. "Dad is going to kill me!"
Blaine let out a shaky laugh. "You have a curfew?"
"No, not really, but he tends to worry a bit too much."
"Ah, I know how you feel. That's how my mom is sometimes. In fact, I should probably tell her I'm in Lima before she has a cow," he said while taking out his phone.
Kurt cocked his head. "Do you not live here?"
Blaine shook his head, staring at the phone while texting. "No, I live in Westerville. I go to Dalton Academy, but I have an aunt in this cemetery and it's the anniversary of her death today, so I came to visit her."
Kurt nodded his head. "I was coming to visit my mom," he said, wondering at the same time why he was telling a complete stranger this.
Blaine looked down at the grave with a small smile. "I'm sorry, Kurt."
It was the pure honesty in his voice that made Kurt inhale sharply. He'd never had someone say it that honestly. Most of the time, the other people said it like it was their job to say it. Fiddling with his hands, Kurt said, "It happened a while ago, like when I was eight."
"Still, that's something huge. It's not something that you just get over."
Kurt nodded, agreeing. "Yeah, that's true." He glanced back down at his phone and sighed. "Well, I better be on my way. It was nice meeting you, Blaine Anderson."
He turned on his heel and began to make his way towards the cemetery entrance. He was almost there when he heard his name being called out.
Blaine appeared next to him a few seconds later. "Hey, listen. So, I was wondering, are you doing anything this weekend? My dad is a lawyer, and he has a court day up here on Friday and he's forcing me to come along. I'll have nothing to do, so would you mind being my Lima tour guide?"
Kurt stared at him, before letting out a bark of laughter. "You think that there's actually interesting things to do in Lima? Besides look at cows?"
Blaine looked offended. "Hey, cows are interesting! ….well, maybe not, but still!"
Kurt giggled again, before nodding. "Sure, I'm not doing anything, so why not?"
Blaine grinned widely at him. "Great! Can I get your number?"
Kurt gave it to him, and Blaine's grin grew. "I'll just text you real quick..." he mumbled, then smirked. "I'll let you know what time I'm going to be arriving here and we'll have a blast looking at cows. See you, Kurt."
Kurt waved to him as he left, still smiling. He hadn't smiled like that in months. Digging his phone out of his pocket, he let out another giggle as he read the text.
Moo ;) - Blaine A
As he headed his way to his car, he couldn't help but feel that something in his life had shifted, and that maybe it wouldn't be so gloomy after all.
He'd been right about his dad worrying about him, because when he'd gotten home, his dad had pulled him into a bone crushing hug, telling him that he'd been this close to calling an ambulance and the police. Kurt sighed in the embrace and gave his dad a gentle squeeze.
"I'm okay, Dad, I was just visiting Mom."
Burt pulled back and gave him an intense look. "Are you feeling okay?"
Kurt took a step back and placed his book bag on the ground. "I'm out of breath, but other than that, I'm fine." He went silent for a moment, before he spoke again. "I met someone at the cemetery today."
Burt began to head back into the kitchen. "Oh, really? Who was it?"
"His name is Blaine," he said, following his dad into the kitchen. "He's going to be down here on Friday, and I'm going to be his 'tour guide' while his dad is in court."
"Where is he from?"
Burt pulled open the refrigerator door and bent down to look inside. "Is he nice?"
"He made me laugh."
Burt pulled his head out and turned to stare at him before he smiled. "I think I like this kid."
Kurt nodded. "He was very nice."
Burt was silent for a while as he pulled out the salad that Kurt had made the previous night. "...was he cute?"
Burt let out a laugh. "Sorry, kiddo, but I just want to know if I'm going to see this kid at all."
"I just met him, god."
Burt snickered again, before he grew serious. "I thought you had that field to go to?"
"Dr. Walker called and talked to the principal. I don't have to go now."
Burt furrowed his eyebrows. "I thought you wanted to go?"
"I did, but it looks like my Friday will be completely free to show Blaine around amazing Lima."
The silence that normally filled their kitchen came back, and Kurt sighed. "Dad? I'm kind of tired, so I think I'm just going to go to bed early, okay? You can order take out or go get a burger if you want."
Burt looked over at him and his eye's softened. "Are you sure?"
Kurt nodded. "Yeah. Maybe I'll read if it gets too hard to breathe later tonight or something."
Burt seemed hesitant to leave. "Will you call me if you get even the slightest dizzy?"
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Yes, dad, I will. I promise. Now go and eat something that will clog your arteries."
Burt smiled at him as he headed towards the door. "There's my boy," he said fondly as he slipped out the door.
Kurt waited until he heard the truck pull out of the drive way before he headed up to his room and turned on his laptop. He pulled up Google as soon as he could and typed in 'Dalton Academy, Blaine Anderson' before quickly shutting his laptop down with the screen finished loading.
He couldn't believe it.
He'd been about to google a boy that he'd just met not even an hour previous.
Am I that desperate for some companionship?
He ran a hand through his hair before he started on his nightly routine. He took a little longer than necessary, hoping that his phone would beep, saying that he'd gotten a text. As he was pulling his pajamas out, he mentally slapped himself.
"You're acting like a girl who has a crush on the school jock, Kurt, stop it."
Taking a deep breath, he left the room to brush his teeth. By the time he came back to his room, his phone had lit up, indicating a text message. He cocked his head as he picked it up and slid his finger across the screen to unlock it.
One new text from Blaine Anderson.
"I didn't think he'd actually text me..." he muttered, shocked that he was actually reading what he was seeing. He pressed it and read the text.
Hey Kurt, so my dad and I will be arriving in Lima at around nine in the morning and he's leaving me the car. Do you know of any places that we could meet up? - Blaine
Kurt had to smile again, and he secretly thanked this boy for making him smile twice in one day. He quickly replied back.
Well, if you want to eat some breakfast or get some coffee, there's this great small cafe that is close to the cemetery if you would like to meet there? - Kurt
He bent down and plugged his phone up to his charger, then began to fix his pillows so that he would be sitting up more than he would be laying down while he slept. One thing Kurt missed was actually sleeping. Lately, sleeping was more of a chore than it was a luxury. It became hard to breathe some nights when his lungs had a fluid backup.
As he was crawling underneath his covers, his phone beeped again, and he leaned over to read the text.
Sounds like a plan! I'll meet you at the cemetery at, say, around 9:30?
Kurt replied back with a 'it's a deal', then pulled his covers up around him. Maybe he could be happy for a while? Maybe this Blaine was the small light of happiness he'd enjoy before everything was over?
Over in Westerville, Blaine Anderson put his phone down and returned to his French homework, insanely glad that he'd skipped school to visit his aunt's grave. Sure, his dad had given him quite the lecture, but -
His phone let out a small sound, and he looked at the text.
I'd suggest being really hungry. The food they make is enough to feed a cow. And I don't know about you, but I do not have more than one stomach.
Yeah, it had pretty much been worth it.
Author's notes: I started this a while ago - and by a while ago I mean a couple of months, a few days, and roughly 2.7 hours ago. The medical condition is inspired by the movie Seven Pounds, and the will to keep going in this story is inspired by a fact that I learned: that even if everything seems gloomy, one person can make an immense difference.
I hope that you all enjoyed! Let me know what you thought!